Elementary Science Fair Projects The Steps for a Successful Science Fair Project The Scientific Method You should always follow the 9 steps of the scientific method when doing a science project to be successful. Step 1 – Select a Topic A. Student What is my interest? B. Parent Selected Topic Will I be able to help? C. Teacher Is the project on level? Step 1A: Select a Topic - Student What are my interests? What would I like to learn about? Do I have a question about something? Where to look for topics? Science Fair books Internet Teacher Does my project meet the rule requirements? Step 1B: Select Topic - Parent Should I help with the selected topic? Does the selected project meet the rule requirements? Do we have the needed materials for the project or know where to purchase or borrow? Do we have a timeline for the experiment to be done on time? Is my child meeting the deadlines of the teacher? How should I help to put the research paper and display board together? Step 1 C: Select Topic - Teacher Is the project at the student’s ability level? Does the project meet the rule requirements? Is there parent approval? What is the timeline for each step? Locate needed resources for students. Are the students meeting the timelines? Data/Project Log - REQUIRED The log starts on the date you select and it is approved by the teacher Each new entry must be dated This log is HANDWRITTEN – not typed ALL observations and measurements are to be recorded Remember all measurements are metric Step 2 Identify the Problem This is a sentence or question about the problem. Example: What type of container will keep my soda cooler longer? Or I would like to compare the temperature of a glass bottle of soda to a can of soda. Step 3 Collect Background Information BOOKS: Encyclopedias Topic Books Magazines/Newspapers RESEARCH about Project INTERNET: Media Center Websites Minimum of 5 references Search by Topic CD ROM: Grolier Compton Research Notebook - REQUIRED Must be written in your own words. Do not just print the pages from the computer. – Research your topic in books and online – Make notes as you do the research – Paraphrase what you read in your OWN words – Research paper may be typed or handwritten – You are to have a minimum of five sources – Must list your sources in the bibliography in the correct format Step 4 Form a Hypothesis A hypothesis is a statement of what you believe will happen in the experiment. This statement is based on the research you have done. Do not start with “I think.” Examples: “The can will keep the soda cooler longer than the plastic or glass bottle.” OR “If soda is placed in can, then the soda will stay cooler longer than in plastic or glass.” Step 5 Design an Experiment Materials List: Procedure: All materials The procedure is a step needed to conduct by step set of directions the experiment: on how to do the experiment. Remember Paper to use are metrics. Pencil Ruler Step 1 – gather all materials Measuring cup Step 2 – explain how to set up experiment Etc. Etc. Step 6 During Experiment Observe: Watch Look Record: During the Notes Experiment Journal/Log Results Analyze Data: What have I learned from the results? Step 7 Repeat the Experiment The experiment is to be repeated at least 3 times. This is done in order to prove the results as true. Step 8 Drawing A Conclusion This is a sentence or sentences that state what did happen during the experiment. What did you learn from the experiment? Example: The can kept the soda cooler longer than the glass bottle. Step 9 Application What could the results be used for? How could I use the knowledge I have gained from the experiment? How will I use what I have learned? How could others use the information I have gained from the experiment? The Display Board Title/ Question Data/ Hypothesis Results Graphs Charts Conclusion Procedure Pictures Application *Abstract Optional Notebook and Log Required 2006 - 2007 Websites 1) Science Fair Center - www.sciencefaircenter.com/science_fair_planning.tpl?cart=11249928173913392#1 2) Science Fair Center for nonscientist parents – www.sciencefaircenter.com/science_fair_basics.tpl?cart=11249928173913392 3) What Makes a Good Science Fair Project? www.usc.edu/CSSF/Resources/Good_Project.html 4) Discovery School .com – http://.school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/ 5) Elementary Projects (Grades 4 - 6) - http://www.cdli.ca/sciencefairs/elem.html 6) Science Projects 13.01 - http://members.ozemail.com.au/%7Emacinnis/scifun/projects.htm#N42 7) IPL – Science Fair Resource Guide - www.ipl.org/youth/projectguide/ 8) Successful Science Fair Projects - http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/fair.html 9) Science Fair Prep - www.cyberbee.com/science/prep.html 10) Steps To Prepare A Science Fair Project(Cyber Fair) - www.isd77.k12.mn.us/resources/cf/steps.html 11) Science Fair Ideas – USGS – www.earthquake.usgs.gov/4kids/sciencefair.html 12) Yahoo – Ask Earl - http://yahooligans.yahoo.com/content/ask_earl/20020123.html 13) Agricultural Ideas for Science Fair Projects - http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/kids/fair/ideasframe.htm 14) Lycos Search - http://search.lycos.com/?src=sf&loc=sem&query=science+fair+project+ideas&nlubid=1 15) Science Fair Resource Center - http://www.hallbar.com/sciencecenter.html 16) Science Fair Links - http://www.rcs.k12.va.us/csjh/sciencefair.htm Good Luck You are able to be successful!